You should join a high-growth company. Get permanent credibility, and the likelihood of a nice payday.

High performing companies give halo effects and are the sweet spot for stock option risk/reward.
If you join a company, my general advice is to join a company on a breakout trajectory.
Sam Altman
CEO at OpenAI, former President of Y Combinator
If you want that nice house and bigger impact, get upside in a younger hyper growth company.
Joe Lonsdale
GP at 8VC, Co-founder of Palantir
The 100th engineer at Facebook made far more money than 99% of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Dustin Moskovitz
CEO at Asana, and Co-founder of Facebook
There are a bunch of great things that you get when you go to a younger, high-growth company.
Marc Andreessen
GP at Andreessen Horowitz, Co-founder of Netscape
Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves.
Sheryl is COO at Facebook, and Eric was formerly CEO at Google
Eric Schmidt's advice to Sheryl Sandberg

Good financial odds

  • Most pre-traction startups fail. And stagnant companies may be a long way away from an exit.

  • Breakout companies have a reasonably assured financial outcome - the question is more ‘how big’ and less ‘will there be an exit’.

  • Having a stock option payday can shift your trajectory for the rest of your life.

Get a win on your record

  • Startups that fail don’t look great on your record.

  • Having a breakout company on your resume instantly gives you a permanent source of credibility.

  • This reputational effect turns out to be beneficial in access to opportunities, funding and networks.


Promotion and experience opportunities

  • When companies are very early stage, or very late stage, or otherwise not growing, the opportunities are limited.

  • At a breakout company, there’s lots of stuff that needs doing and lots of opportunities for promotion.

  • Build lucrative skills, and take a shortcut to valuable experience.

Build a great network

  • At late stage companies, the core founding team is buried under layers of employees. And at pre-traction startups, the odds of failure limit your ability to build a good network. At larger public companies, the team members will be more risk averse and unambitious.

  • At a breakout company, the founding team will be accessible and can become part of your permanent tribe. Plus, once there’s an exit, there’ll be a large group of wealthy, smart, ambitious, skilled people that want to work with you.

  • So you’ll have great peers that will be with you for life, making it easier to join or found successful companies in the future and get access to hidden opportunities.